AFCON 2023: How the Super Eagles defeat Sierra Leone in Abuja
Share This Article
On Day 1 of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification series, Nigeria’s Super Eagles defeated Sierra Leone 2-1 at the MKO Abiola Stadium on Thursday.
The Leone Stars, who rallied from four goals down to tie the match 4-4 in an AFCON qualifier against the Super Eagles in Benin City in November 2021, showed their intent as early as the fourth minute when Mohamed Turay’s rasping drive was deflected over the bar by Francis Uzoho.
Aribo’s superb ball was followed by Calvin Bassey’s tempting cross two minutes later, but Victor Osimhen’s header missed the target. Sadiq Umar’s beautiful ball found Osimhen in the tenth minute, but his shot was blocked.
Jonathan Morsay scored a spectacular goal with a diving header from a lovely cross by Musa Kamara just a minute later at the other end.
The visitors could have extended their lead four minutes later when they hit the crossbar on another counter-attack.
Nigeria drew parity in the 16th minute when Alex Iwobi and Moses Simon exchanged passes, with the former emphatically reaching the far corner of goalkeeper Mohamed Kamara’s post.
As the visitors poured forward again, Kamara stopped a strong Moses Simon header three minutes later, and Musa Kamara came close with a stinging grounder in the 35th minute.
Osimhen scored Nigeria’s second goal four minutes before halftime, driving the ball into the roof of the net following a Simon header off Ola Aina’s right-wing cross.
The game flowed from one end to the other in the second half, but in the 58th minute, Nigeria should have made it 3-1 when Iwobi and Osimhen cut open the visitors’ defense, only for Samuel Chukwueze to get too much purchase on his shot and drag it wide.
As Nigeria battled for another goal, Aribo, Osimhen, and replacement Ademola Lookman all squandered chances, but it took Aribo’s last-second intervention to deny the Leone Stars in extra time.
The Eagles have three points and are in first place in Group A as they travel to Agadir, Morocco, on Monday evening for their Day 2 match against the ‘The Falcons and True Parrots’ of So Tomé and Prncipe.
Read Also: THE Y2K FASHION COMEBACK